They Paved Over the Boom Boom Room, Put Up a Parking Lot

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Photo by Janine Kahn
Saying goodbye to the Boom--through tears and wet undies.
The Laguna Beach Planning Commission last week unanimously approved a plan to build a 13-space parking garage where the legendary gay bar the Boom Boom Room once stood. But the city's desire for a public display depicting the old Coast Inn complex's long association with the gay community remains unfulfilled.

As the Los Angeles Times' O.C. Now reports, commissioners warmly received plans for 1920s-themed flag poles and awnings at the hotel--which may include retail space and a restaurant/wine bar. The location of an interpretive center dedicated to the Coast Inn's gay past is still to be determined, however.

Architect Morris Skenderian "proposed that an historic exhibit about the Coast Inn and its importance in Laguna Beach be placed either in the hotel lobby or in the restaurant/bar area; that it be prepared by an approved historic consultant and 'subject to the approval' of the property owner, former AIG executive Steven Udvar-Hazy," O.C. Now reports.

Udvar-Hazy, one of the world's wealthiest men, has been pressured for several years to donate the property to the city as a gay community center.

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Gallant fighters in Saving the Boom.
Until he comes around on some kind of way to honor the Boom, those who want to remember the fab old days should find John Keitel's Saving the Boom, an excellent short documentary about the unsuccessful effort to save what for years had been the largest gay nightspot in Orange County. Or, take another gander at Janine Kahn's slideshow of the club's goodbye party--wet undies contest and all!

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